Written by: Ron Bricker
I enjoy a steamy love scene as much as the next gal. Seriously, who doesn't enjoy watching their favorite heroine get ravished against the side of a car or on the kitchen floor or in the mile-high club or … ahem, excuse me. I forgot who I was talking about, but not what I was talking about, and let's face it: some of these spontaneous ravishings look great onscreen but wouldn't play so well in real life.
So let's take a moment to talk about passion versus reality. I'm going to walk us through some of the most memorable love scenes in movie history and imagine how they'd go in the real world. Believe me, it's not pretty.
From Here to Eternity
Love Scene: Who hasn't seen Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr on the beach at night, their bodies intertwined, as a wave crashes over them? This stands as one of the most iconic images of love in movie history.
Reality: Making out on the beach at night is fine, so long as you’re away from the shore line. Believe me, unless you're really close to the equator, getting hit with a night-time wave won't be pleasant. In From Here to Eternity, that wave hits Lancaster and Kerr and they keep kissing. In reality, it would have gone something like this:
Burt Lancaster and Deborah Kerr smooch on the beach.
LANCASTER AND KERR: Smooch, smooch, smooch.
A wave rolls in and crashes over them. They jump to their feet.
LANCASTER: Fuck! I just froze my balls off!
KERR: Fuck! I just froze my ovaries off!
Get the picture? The ocean, by and large, is pretty cold, to say nothing of the chafing you'd get from the sand in your swimsuits, and really – after the opening sequence to Jaws, who would even want to get naughty in the night-time surf anymore?
Love Scene: Richard Gere places Julia Roberts against a grand piano in a closed hotel lounge, lifts her nightie, and tickles her ivories. Check it out:
Reality: Mainly, I find it hard to believe that not a single employee caught them in flagrante delicto, but I can't help but think of how hilarious it would have been if the rear covering for the grand piano had collapsed while they were going at it. Can you imagine that? You're in the middle of lovemaking when all of a sudden you're getting lashed by a hundred snapping piano wires. That's romance!
Love Scene: William Hurt breaks into Kathleen Turner's house by throwing a garden chair into a bay window and then they make love to the rhythmic sounds of a wind chime.
Reality: If you were to try this, say at home with your wife, this is what would happen. You’d throw the chair at the window, but it would bounce off. As you were trying again, your nosy neighbors would be calling the cops. Next thing you know, Chris Meloni is yelling at you in a dank interrogation room. (For the record, getting yelled at by Chris Meloni is not the same thing as having sex with your main squeeze.)
So from your lover's perspective, she'd hear a huge bang against her rear window, and then get up to see some scary prowler around back. Maybe she'd see you getting shoved into a police cruiser. Lloyd Dobler couldn't do any better.
9 1/2 Weeks
Love Scene: Mickey Rourke sits Kim Basinger in front of an open refrigerator with her robe spread open. He feeds her various foods and beverages, and then pours honey all over her. They make love on the kitchen floor.
Reality: OK, I don't want to dismiss food play out of hand, but this scene would probably be very, very, very gross in practice. You'd be freezing your butt off in front of the fridge as all your food started to get warm and spoil behind you. So it would smell funky.
And then there's the honey. Pouring honey "on your honey" (har, har) might be acceptable if you're both perfectly waxed – but if you have any hint of body hair (as I'm sure Mr. Rourke does), you're in for a sticky, icky time.
Love Scene: Glenn Close stops her apartment's elevator and gives Michael Douglas an oral exam. He then ravages her against the elevator wall.
Reality: First of all, you’re stuck in an elevator with a psycho. If someone stops an elevator with you in it – even under the auspice of fooling around – be afraid. It’s not that easy to stop an elevator. You need a key from maintenance to do it without alerting the police and fire departments, which means that if you just press the emergency stop button, you'll have to explain the video surveillance footage of you and your partner having "emergency" sex to all the cops and firemen that show up. Awk-waaaard.
Love Scene: Tom Cruise and Rebecca DeMornay boink in an empty Chicago subway car in the middle of the night, all while Tangerine Dream plays.
Reality: Ew, ew, ewww! How anyone could even get aroused while bathed in the puke-smell of a Chicago L train is baffling, but that's a rough ride, too! You'd very likely get thrown off your partner and onto a pile of used syringes. Barf. Then you'd get mugged. Naked. And then you'd wake up in a Dumpster, which is disgusting. Not that I've woken up in any Dumpsters. Shut up.
Unfaithful (two scenes)
Love Scene The First: Oliver Martinez and Diane Lane are so hot for each other that they steal away into a bathroom stall and enjoy themselves a la carte as the French would say.
Reality: Other people go to the bathroom. Repeat: Other people go to the bathroom.
Also, we're talking about public bathrooms here, and unless the stalls are fully enclosed, you're going to treat the other patrons to the sight of two pair of feet below the stall or a bobbing woman's head above it. Very discreet.
And if you've chosen a Mexican Restaurant where the beans are famous … I won't even bother. Chicago L trains have no monopoly on mood-killing aromas.
Love Scene The Second: Diane Lane and her Oliver Martinez get into a fight in an apartment building hallway. They start slapping each other, and things get so heated that he winds up bending her over and taking her from behind.
Reality: If you decide you want to give your lady a what-for in the hoo-ha in your building's hallway, be prepared for a very unpleasant – oh, never mind. That actually sounds awesome, and who cares if you give the old lady across the hall a heart attack? Go for it, you old ladykiller!